Oil production cut, flaring reduced; damaged gas compressor for repairs in Germany

Last Updated on Friday, 5 February 2021, 17:08 by Denis Chabrol

Guyana’s oil production has been dropped and the quantity of gas being flared has been reduced due to a faulty gas compressor that has been removed to be taken to Germany for repairs, the company said Friday.

“We have lowered production levels on the Liza Destiny since the compressor failed and continue to seek ways to reduce flaring. We are currently injecting or using 88 percent of the gas produced from the wells. We share a common interest in responsible management and appropriate standards for development of the country’s natural resources,” Alistair Routledge President of ExxonMobil Guyana was quoted in a company statement as saying.

Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat confirmed that production level below the usual 120,000 barrels per day has been reduced, but he could not immediately say by how much because there is a 24-hour lag in getting the figures.

ExxonMobil (Guyana) spokeswoman, Janelle Persaud declined to provide the new figures, saying that the company does not release them and she referred the media to the government. “Those numbers are provided to government…I’m saying we don’t give out specific production numbers,” she told reporters in a WhatsApp group when asked for details.

Mr. Bharrat said the efforts were being made to keep flaring to about 15 million cubic metres per day, a figure that appears to be in line with the quantity that ExxonMobil said it was reinjecting into the wells.

ExxonMobil said a technical team has safely removed the 3rd stage compressor from the package enclosure on the Liza Destiny and is preparing it for transport onshore.

The American oil major said an initial examination determined that the unit has to be sent for repairs in Germany where it is expected to arrive on February 9. The full extent of the damage will not be known until a detailed inspection of the compressor can take place at the workshop of the manufacturer, MAN Turbo in Germany. “I wish to assure you that teams of experts from ExxonMobil, SBM Offshore and MAN Turbo are working diligently to fix the compressor and return it to service as quickly as possible,” said Mr. Routledge.

ExxonMobil Guyana said it was providing daily updates to the relevant government agencies.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has already expressed deep and growing concern that Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Ltd (EEPGL) has restarted flaring of gas on its first Oil and Gas Platform in the Stabroek Block off the coast of Guyana. WWF has said that the recommencement of flaring defies ExxonMobil’s global commitment to reduce flaring from 2016 levels by 20% in 2020, and it certainly does not support the company’s global statements about reducing its greenhouse gas footprint.

“The burden of responsibility falls squarely on ExxonMobil. We look forward to the Company being held accountable for this development,” said David Singh, Director of WWF-Guianas.

WWF said EEPGL is undercutting Guyana’s “green image” making it more difficult for the country to promote and build a sustainable, low-carbon economy. “The lack of, and limited disclosure of information also gives no confidence that the company will take seriously its good corporate citizen responsibility in a country known for its climate mitigation efforts. Future development of its oil expansion programme must be reviewed against this recent development and the way it was disclosed,” the environmental organisation said.